We all from time to time have gotten those butterflies in our stomach before having to speak in front of a group, or play music, or whatever the case is. That’s not the worst feeling to have. It says that we care, we want to do our best, and our body is reacting.
As I tell students regularly, I have NEVER seen anyone stand up in the middle of a performance and yell out “You made a mistake!!” Or, come up to the performer or group after the fact (unless it’s their job as a judge) to point out every flaw in the performance. It just doesn’t happen.
Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to play the organ in the largest physical sanctuary I had ever played in. Now, I’ve been playing the organ for almost 28 years, and I’ve played in a lot of churches, and on a lot of different organs. I’ve gotten past those nerves and butterflies….until they showed up this past Sunday! Why? Well, it was because the organist that I was filling in for is excellent, and those are big shoes to fill, along with it being such a physically large space. I made PLENTY of mistakes. But, I had so many people throughout the week not only thank me for playing, they told me that I did an excellent job. So much so, they did not realize that their organist was gone. Wow!
That’s the thing with performing and being in front of people. Whether it’s music or not, we will more than likely have times where we are having to present in front of some form of group. And it’s one of the great things that you get out of learning and making music. You will at some point be performing for a group of people. And making music is such a personal and connective thing, it helps to prepare you for those times down the road when you’re making a presentation for work, or wherever you are.
So yes, performing can be scary. There’s no doubt about it. But, the more you do it, the more comfortable you will become. Try it. Again and again. It will help!